How to link 3DEXPERIENCE Attributes to SOLIDWORKS Properties

SOLIDWORKS properties and 3DEXPERIENCE attributes are both be used to store all kinds of useful information for files including, descriptions, part numbers, revisions, the weight of a part and the material it is made from.

Why link SOLIDWORKS properties to 3DEXPERIENCE attributes?

It is useful to map these SOLIDWORKS properties to their related 3DEXPERIENCE attributes, this will mean you only need to input information in one place, saving time and avoiding the risk of information going out of sync.

For example, if we have a “description” property in SOLIDWORKS, we can map that to the equivalent 3DEXPERIENCE attribute also called “description”.

How to enable 3DEXPERIENCE integration inside SOLIDWORKS

There is a useful setting when working with 3DEXPERIENCE attributes and SOLIDWORKS properties that you may want to enable.

This setting is found inside SOLIDWORKS inside ‘System Option > 3DEXPERIENCE Integration’, it is simply called ‘Enable 3DEXPERIENCE Integration’.

Enabling 3DEXPERIENCE integration

The main effect that this has it to cause part-level custom properties in SOLIDWORKS to map to a CAD Family item inside 3DEXPERIENCE, and to cause configuration-specific properties to map to a Physical Product item in 3DEXPERIENCE.

For this guide we will work with configuration-specific properties inside SOLIDWORKS and their related physical product attributes inside 3DEXPERIENCE.

How to check 3DEXPERIENCE attribute settings

Before making any changes you should check how your 3DEXPERIENCE attributes are currently configured. To do so use the Platform Manager role to access the Collaborative Spaces Control Center and then select Attribute Management.

In this case we want to view the physical property type, selecting it will display a list of all of the existing attributes. From this screen you can add, edit or delete attributes.

3DEXPERIENCE Attributes List for Physical Products

3DEXPERIENCE attributes list for physical products


Adding new 3DEXPERIENCE Attributes

To add a new attribute click the + icon in the top right of the window. When adding a new attribute, you can choose from a list of attribute types including string, boolean, integer, real and date. Most often we work with string attributes for plain text.

If you want a property’s values to be chosen from a drop-down list then you can specify options by entering options into the Authorized Values box.

A 6W Predicate tag can also be added to the attribute for use in advanced searching.

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Once an attribute has been created, it is important to use the Configuration Deployment tool inside the Collaborative Spaces Configuration Centre to push this attribute out to existing data.

This should be done out of hours and while the data is not being modified or updated, and ideally this would be done prior to any data being added to 3DEXPERIENCE.

To push this change across the platform you will need to run Reload Server Cache and Update Index Model .

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How to control how 3DEXPERIENCE attributes interact with SOLIDWORKS properties

Inside Collaborative Spaces Configuration Centre, select CAD Collaboration and then SOLIDWORKS.

CAD Collaboration - SOLIDWORKS Properties

CAD Collaboration – SOLIDWORKS Properties

On this view you can see the directional behavior between the 3DEXPERIENCE attributes as product attributes and our SOLIDWORKS properties as category reviews, the arrows shown indicate indicates where the information is driven from and where it is applying to.

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Typically, if you are entering information into properties on the SOLIDWORKS side, you want the arrow pointing from CAD attribute to product attribute. This makes sense for some properties such as weight, which will always be driven by SOLIDWORKS.

Conversely, if you want the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to drive the property value, then set the arrow to point from product attribute to CAD attributes.

If you want the information to come from both sides, set the arrows to be bidirectional. In general, you want to keep directions to a minimum as having more directions mean the system has to make more checks when saving a file.

Working with properties in SOLIDWORKS & 3DEXPERIENCE

Once setup is complete, you can begin adding properties to our files and viewing them in both SOLIDWORKS and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

In the example shown in our video above we created a new a property to test that everything was linked correctly. To begin we opened a SOLIDWORKS part and created a new property called ‘Project’.

SOLIDWORKS new property

Once created this SOLIDWORKS property can also be viewed by right-clicking the on the file in the 3DEXPERIENCE “MySession” tab inside the SOLIDWORKS task pane and choosing “Properties”.

My Session - View Properties

3DEXPERIENCE Attributes View


Once this model is saved to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform you will also be able to view this property by right clicking and choosing file information. This shows that the SOLIDWORKS property has correctly linked to the 3DEXPERIENCE attribute.

3DEXPERIENCE right-click file information

3DEXPERIENCE new property